1.04.19 11 Thoughts, Questions and Concerns I Had While Binging Netflix’s ‘You’
You and I have a few things to talk about.
Yes, there will be spoilers.
1) The angsty villain protagonist stalker creepo is named Joe Goldberg (and played by Penn Badgley, who apparently had something to do with Gossip Girl). Anyway, I’m concerned about him being a Goldberg. I’m all for diversity but this is not going to be good for the Jews.
2) Not that he appears to adhere to any religion, and is actively shown wearing a Santa hat and giving away presents. So maybe a non-Jewish Goldberg. I’m sure they exist somewhere. But probably not in New York City.
3) Our main heroine/stalkee/victim is named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and goes by “Beck” and that makes not a lot of sense when Gwen is a perfectly cromulent nickname and “Beck” was already taken by a Scientologist musician.
4) Joe is the manager (and clear sole proprietor, though we learn more later) of a bookstore that apparently does not require more than two employees (including himself) to run, and also leaves him loads of time to get out and about in the city and the country as he stalks – er, thoroughly researches – his quarry and her various loser friends.
5) It is nice to know that this bookstore, in an age of dying bookstores in general, can survive in New York City with a largely-empty basement that just so happens to have a soundproof, climate-controlled Plexiglas box in the basement. With a little partion to hand things back and forth, like at the post office! A little deus ex machina, anyone? Yes, some books do need to be housed specially, but we all know the minute we see this thing that the real collecting going on is of the human variety.
6) Joe takes up jogging to chase down the sad, spoiled rich girl Peach (PEACH, enough with the names here, good grief). Good: We see he has to build up tolerance to running, and he’s not an instant marathoner. Terrible: When he decides to finally take Peach out not only does he do so at just the right moment – they’ve both run under a pedestrian tunnel – but with a rock twice as big as his hand.
Let’s parse this: Either Joe is running with a rock in his hands or he has to pause to find and pick one up by the side of the path in a place where it’s not like these things just lay around randomly. If he’s running with a pre-chosen rock, other park goers will notice. The camera will notice (and it doesn’t). The run will be slower because: rock weight. If he pauses, we never see it – and then he also manages to time the tunnel-clubbing perfectly? Phleeze.
7) This is not the first time Joe brains someone and fails on the first attempt. You think he’d have learned something the first time around. Also, skulls are very resilient in this universe.
8) Gwenny Beck is just yearning to be a writer. As writers know by now, writers in TV and movies are never going to come close to reality. But even by those low bar standards, Beck is not a writer. She whines about needing to write more than actually writing. She writes single, perfect drafts. She goes from essays and a poem or two to writing a whole novel in a matter of months that scores her an agent and editor and publishing deal – and the admiration of the New York press. And she still can’t find the time to write because she’s just gotta party down.
9) Every. Single. Man. Beck. Hangs. Out. With. Wants. To. Fuck. Her. (And at least one woman.) Some are married. Some are way too old. Some are douchebags. Some are her MFA advisors. Some of her therapists (hi, John Stamos, and ew). But the minute they spend 30 seconds with her, they are grabbing her arms and legs and hands like they are drowning and she is the only liferaft within miles. We already know Beck is desirable, because Joe’s obsessive voice-over reminds us of this every minute or two. Beck is the Mary Sue of the universe, seriously.
10) The last episode? Of course leaves room for a season two. On a show that needed no further seasons. And yeah, I’ll probably be back. I mean, they’ve got to make a musician’s life more realistic than a writer’s, right? Right? Bueller?
11) Of course, all this aside we have to be willing to buy into the psychopathy of a killer who on the one hand protects little children but on the other hand sees nothing wrong with offing his competition and imprisoning those who don’t see his love for what he thinks it is. Those are big hurdles in 2019. I wanted to see where this went, I saw, and … well, there we are. You have been warned.
13) It wouldn’t take the expensive PI hired by the Salinger family to piece together the trail of other randomly-seeming dead bodies and missing persons leading directly to Joe, starting with the record exec who was screwing Candace who “fell off the roof,” then Candace who ghosted presumably to Rome or somewhere and wasn’t heard from for months, Candace’s brother (which may not have had anything to do with this but still suspicious), next the trust fund guy who was booty calling Beck who simply up and disappeared and neither his business partner nor his millionaire father went looking for, and then the parole officer who was abusing the neighbor family he’d grown attached to.
14) Back to Candace…presumably she ghosted off to Rome and changed her name and assumed a new identity, but only Joe is still smart enough to track down her (public) facebook account filled with stock photos of her posing with tourist attractions all over Italy? Seriously, she disappeared so thoroughly not even her brother’s hospital could track her down to tell her he’d died, but she had a public account that only Joe could find? (I’m still pretty sure that is a sock puppet account, but they never showed us any evidence of Joe’s photoshopping acumen before, so IDK.)
15) None of the millennials in New York City care about internet hygiene and nothing is friends-locked. Nothing important, anyway. Nor do they draw curtains, pull shades, chainlatch/deadbolt doors, or install security systems.
16) He was able to find an identical yellow rug with the same exact amount of wear and tear for the glass cage to replace the one Benji rotted all over? Also, how was he able to get the lingering stench of rotting corpse out of musty old books? Or the trunk of a car?
17) Ethan never questioned why Joe was so cagey (lol) about the basement, yet Paco is wandering in and out of there like it’s a stock room?
18) Beck found the box in the morning, and unless Joe hit her hard enough to knock her out for 10 hours, how did he get her unconscious form to the bookstore basement in broad daylight without anyone noticing? Even in Manhattan, someone’s gonna see it and say something.
19) Someone smart enough to go to Brown on scholarships and talented enough get into the MFA program at NYU could not possibly be that dumb or inept. I’m not talking lack of street-smarts or common sense–I’m saying, this woman is not smart. AT ALL.
20) Even if there is no DNA in urine, there sure is in blood spatters and needles, not to mention fingerprints.
OMG, #18 especially. I had meant to include that and ran out of steam. I mean, Joe’s clearly a master illusionist or something. My Law & Order-sense was going off the whole time.
My biggest issue with the series is this: I got duped into watching a Lifetime show because it was on Netflix! Watching Dirty John on Bravo was/has been/is a conscious choice, but now I feel tawdry for giving into this stuff.
I forgot #12…
12) Where does Joe get the money to afford the rent on this huge apartment in New York and purchase all these resources he needs for electronic surveillance and body disposal? Who knew managing a bookstore (one without a decent online presence even) that lucrative?